Landing the Job: Career Tips for Successful Graduates

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Congrats! You are officially a college graduate. It’s time to get your grad gear and find that dream career. But first, you have to learn how to prepare. From writing the resume to landing the job, here are some tips to be a successful graduate. Now get out there and put that education to use.

THE RESUME

Keep it updated
Keep track of your positions, organizations, accomplishments and skills while in college and update it regularly.  If you have a digital copy on a website or LinkedIn profile, make sure that is updated as well.

Tailor it for the job
It’s important to tailor your resume to each position you apply for based on the job description. One position may ask for more leadership experience, while another may specify its desire for a certain skill.

Focus on the vocabulary
Pay attention to the wording in your resume. Use action verbs that demonstrate your responsibility, and the affect it had on your colleagues and workplace.

Give it personality
This document is often the first impression a potential employer has of you, so don’t forget to include your own voice. Adding a little color can give it some visual interest without overwhelming the page. You can also add taglines that describe you, such as “sustainability enthusiast” or “aspiring business owner.” These can go a long way to show an employer who you are as a person.


THE INTERVIEW

Preparation is Key
Your resume gets you an interview, but the interview gets you the job. It’s important to realize that there are different types of interviews as well. Some companies have a panel interview, while others may do a video interview if they are out of state.

Research the company
Try to educate yourself on the potential employer. When you step into an interview knowing everything there is to know about a company—it will surely impress them.

Practice answering questions
The most common interview questions are; “tell me about yourself,” “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “can you describe a time you overcame a challenge and how that impacted you?” Each of these questions tells an employer about your previous experience, work ethic and personality—they want to get to know their potential employee.

Have some questions prepared
Asking your potential employer questions only strengthens your application’s status. Plus, this is your opportunity to find out if this is an organization you want to work for.


THE REFERENCES

Phone A Friend
Word of advice regarding references; only request them from people who can speak in detail about your experiences, strengths and character.

Build Relationships During School
Too many students go through college and neglect this important task. Having a mentor in a professor, work colleague or professional is an excellent way to build a network to help you get a job later on.

Always Ask
Whenever applying for a position, ask the person before you list them as a reference. If you don’t, they might receive a call from an employer and be caught off guard—not a great impression for the candidate.

Give Letters Time
Letters of recommendation are more time-consuming, so make sure to give your reference plenty of time to write it. Send them the job description or highlights of important responsibilities so they can include that in the letter. If you want to ensure they talk about your leadership skills or accomplishments—let them know beforehand.


EXTRA TIP!

DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN UP YOUR ACT
A “digital footprint,” as it is sometimes called, is kind of like an online resume. What you post online can harm or hurt you in the job application process. Employers will often use this to see if you are active on social media—and if your presence is appropriate. Remember to never include inappropriate language or pictures of yourself that could affect your chances at receiving a position.

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